Nothing beats a warm rock to sit on.

Our paddle from Bruno’s to The Sisters then back to Dynamite Beach is a no-thrills pleasant outing. Temperature is short-sleeves with an advisory for sunscreen. The sky’s true blue is ever so slightly smudged by a wimpy marine layer. A feisty wind’s at our backs.

Reversing course at The Sisters, we butt heads with the wind, but suffer little from the encounter. Party Beach is our intended takeout, but a high tide’s closed it out. We paddle around a nearby promontory to Dynamite Beach, find enough real estate for the four of us and our boats.

I claim a large flat-topped rock as my beach perch. The rock’s quite comfortable, about the height of a dining room chair. I don’t notice the rock’s warmth until the sun sets and the air temperature drops from shirt sleeves to sweatshirt. 

Warming my nether regions on the rock in the chill evening air is delightful. Like a heated car seat on a cold morning or, on a more personal level, a warm toilet seat on bare skin. You won’t know true pleasure until you’ve sat on a warm rock.

Speaking of warmth, 1-of-3 reveals a clever way to keep tea hot in a thermos. “Pour hot water into the thermos first,” he says. “Wait a minute or two, pour out the hot water, then pour in the hot tea. The tea’ll stay hot much longer.” 

The fact that the tea I serve up is repeatedly tepid is just cause for 1-of-3’s revelation. I promise next Thursday’s tea will be hot. Sorry about this week’s.

Preceding the evening’s tepid tea are brownings to whet our appetite for Gandalf’s green salad, Don’t Follow Don’s spiralized veggies, and 1-of-3’s strudels, apple and berry. All of the above accompanied by a 2013 bottle of fine zinfandel from 1-of-3’s cellar. 

We’ve lit no Thurseve cookfires for some weeks. The primary reason: cookfires discourage social distancing, especially on cold evenings. A recent secondary reason: the air’s already full of  wildfire smoke.

Properly social distanced around a single-burner propane stove, our cookfire substitute, Don’t Follow Don serenades us with lyrics from a Frank Zapata song,“I am the Slime.” In a sound bite, the slime Zappa sings of is what  spews out of TV sets (Zappa penned the song in 1973).

Here’s a link to the song:

We fast forward the song’s message to the present, chat about the “slime” found in social media, how sophisticated its targeting algorithms are, how vulnerable we’ve all become to the screen’s powerful glow. The glow’s influence over what we buy, what we think, how we vote.

A lighter Zappa-related exchange concerns his daughter Moon. At her suggestion, Moon and her father write a song in 1982 entitled “Valley Girl.” From that song springs the expressions “valley girl” and “valley talk,” cultural memes both.

On that light note, we pack up our gear and shove off Dynamite Beach … into a windstorm. Belligerent that wind, payback for our earlier pleasant paddle. I can’t speak for the other guys, but sitting in the bow of Gandalf’s double, I’m deluged, the spray thick and heavy. Paddling under a waterfall comes to mind.

I can’t speak for the other guys, but I’m pretty sure they’re struggling under the same waterfall. A constant blast of water smacking my face, my vision is so blurry, I’ve no idea where Bruno’s is. Might as well have been paddling in a thick fog. 

Gandalf and I end up way off course, limp into Bruno’s bedraggled. Don’t Follow Don and 1-of-3 go even further afield, sorry sights the both of them when they creep into the harbor.

Interesting evening.


Date: Thurseve, 24 September 2020.

Distance: Six nautical miles.

Speed: One point three knots.

Time: Four point seven five hours.

Spray factor: Oh boy!

Dessert: Apple and berry strudel.

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